Rafa: Fast serving not right for my game

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Romismak, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Romismak

    Romismak Rookie

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    Rafa said that he can serve harder, like USO 2010 when his serve was at his best, but he rather serve slower, because this is better for his game what do you think

    http://tennis.com/articles/templates/news.aspx?articleid=16816&zoneid=25
     
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  2. Li Ching Yuen

    Li Ching Yuen Legend

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    Had he not been a lefty he couldn't have said the same thing. But he's right, his serve is not much about pace, and given how slow courts are these days it would be a waste of energy to go all out on every serve.

    He has always protected his serve wonderfully, even when his serve was a liability.
     
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  3. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    Honestly, I thought this thread was about him taking so long to serve the ball.

    I was thinking "well, at least he is honest about taking so long to serve"

    But, I digress. I always thought that he didnt try and use that USO serve more because it caused him shoulder problems.
     
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  4. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    During the coin toss at the net on the next match, Rafa asking his opponent:

    "I serve fast today, no? but return ball to me slow, por favor"
     
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  5. Li Ching Yuen

    Li Ching Yuen Legend

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    It could mean shoulder problems in the long run, since he's most probably gonna have to play up to 5 matches every week or so for a period of the year but that's not the main factor.

    He just doesn't go for it because there's not enough reward for it so to speak, and he knows that. Another contributing factor is the fact that he is arguably (Djokovic) the best player once the point gets in a rally, and that is a very reassuring position to be in.

    There's no need to risk getting 1 or 2 free points on serve per game when you know you have an even better chance at winning points just playing it safe.
     
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  6. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

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    the fact that he has shown the ability to serve big when he needs means that he should, depending on the tournament conditions. i think he should not be saying that serving fast doesn't suit his game. in general, that is the truth. but there are times when he will need to serve faster. i think at wimbledon, us open and at the wtf (where he's never won and keeps getting whipped by federer) he should incorporate more fast serving in his game.
     
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  7. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    His average serve speed at Wimbledon 2011 was higher than that at the USO 2010, I thought.
     
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  8. Romismak

    Romismak Rookie

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    I think he is right that it doesn´t suits his game on clay, but i think indoors he should be going for more pace-harder 1st serves, also on grass from deuce side of court where he can´t use his lefty serve he can go for bigger serves 125-135mph
     
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  9. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    ^ ^ ^ Yet all the Nadal fans here cry that Freddie gets free points on his serve. They should read Nadal's interviews more closely.
     
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  10. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    Nadal is just not a natural server where as Federer is. Its always going to be a problem for him. If he is hold serve then he is fine serving slow. If he loses some movement as he gets older he may need to take some risk.

    What he really needs to be doing more often is flattening out that forehand and getting to the net when he has the opportunity.
     
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  11. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

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    He's basically saying, no, I'm not juicing.
     
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  12. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    He doesn't actually need to flatten out the FH. He needs to play more confidently. When he's confident, he's painting lines and landing his groundies near the baseline, partly because he's also standing closer to the baseline. When he's not confident, he'll start hitting short, loopy balls.

    Besides, that little bit of lead he's added to his racquet seems to have made his groundies a fair bit less spinny.
     
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  13. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    Play more confidently? That goes without saying for every player on the tour.

    As for the lead tape issue: Thats just placebo for Rafa. A couple of Grams is not going to change ones swing path. If it makes him feel more powerful though...then so be it. The sport is so psychological players try anything. Some are even useing mouthguards to align the upperand lower jaws for more accuracy LOL.

    Honestly he does not need to change much. Just stay healthy and try some different tactics with Djokavic. Three finals last year, french open title, and Davis Cup is a very good year. In the 90s he would be a #1 player (competition was tougher back then though).
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
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  14. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    Just because it should go without saying doesn't mean that it does. Rafa plays very differently when he's confident (as opposed to when he's not). I'm not the only person who has noticed.

    Doesn't matter if it's placebo or not (how you know for certain that it's a placebo, I don't know). Fact remains that his FH is more penetrating than before, and it's not because of placebo on my end either--I keep forgetting that he's added more lead to his racquet.

    You'll be eaten alive for saying that here.
     
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  15. BULLZ1LLA2.0

    BULLZ1LLA2.0 Banned

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    Especially against Federer. No point serving fast vs Federer.

    By the way this is my FINAL POST ever at Talk Tennis.
     
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  16. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    I'm quoting you so that people who have put you on their ignore lists can send their condolences.

    Edit:// nvm, I just noticed that nadalwon2012 is now unbanned
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
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  17. decades

    decades Guest

    will you be retiring All of your profiles?
     
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  18. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    Nadal needs to focus more on his return than on his serve. His return has been the most dramatically reduced shot in his arsenal, although his second serve was horrible in Australia and seems to be the same in this tournament...
     
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  19. nadalwon2012

    nadalwon2012 Banned

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    I wouldn't worry. Looked no worse than Djokovic at the AO. Good enough (or good enough to get up a break in the 5th set).
     
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  20. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    He's a percentage player. His lefty spin does help. More spin, less pace works.
     
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  21. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    To me the key point is that Rafa recognizes that he will have trouble if he misses those big serves slightly by having time taken away from him. Because of that, his game plan is seriously disrupted as he can no longer take control of the point as he wishes. That's big in tennis and it's something that many of us big hitters are only starting to now realize - well by many I mean me LOL. A simple block back to a corner can result in a winner for the opponent simply because I hit the ball to hard and didn't give myself time to recover proper court position.
     
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  22. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    Rafa haters, you are late.

    "He likes to serve slow as in, likes to take time between his serves to psych his opponents, and win the match"
     
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  23. Sartorius

    Sartorius Professional

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    Looks like he posted with nadalwon2012 shortly after. :D

    Truly a phenomenon, this kid.


    As for Rafa quote, it makes perfect sense. At least now he has a much better serve compared to before and can put it to good use when he needs to.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
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  24. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I don't care if Rafa serve 80 or 140mph, just keep the pace between points within a respectable time. And most importantly, don't control the pace when you're receiving. It's the server that has the right to control the pace !
     
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  25. monfed

    monfed Guest

    From what I've seen, his kicker does more damage than the flat one, atleast on the ad court.
     
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  26. Biscuitmcgriddleson

    Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional

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    Exactly. You're suppose to play to the pace of the server within a reason.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
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  27. Murrayfan31

    Murrayfan31 Hall of Fame

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    What a dumb thing to say. I guess Fed would be better off taking pace off his serve. :rolleyes:
     
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  28. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Awww, did your shrink give you a different medication you are moving on to your next personality/account?
     
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  29. nadalwon2012

    nadalwon2012 Banned

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    You seriously think Nadal is slow between return points? Show me some examples, because I think you just made that up. Nadal is one of the fastest on tour between return points.
     
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  30. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    How long have you been watching tennis? Ask Agassi, he'll tell you why he was annoyed by Nadal's robbing his time when serving. Also I've seen countless of time when a server was in motion to serve but had to pause because Nadal wasn't ready. Nadal even raises his hand to ask for time.

    Cool story bro.
     
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  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I've always said a faster serve doesn't help a grinder's game. You cannot grind if you end the point early!
    Rafa needs to grind his opponents.
    A big serve does not tire anyoine out.
     
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  32. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    You have a point here,but the bigger,faster serve helped Nadal finally win the USO. It helped him tremendously thoughout that tournament and in Tokyo where he would have lost to Troicki in the semi without it. Not to mention how much it helped him at the WTF that year against Murray. He should definitely use it more often,imo. It will lessen the wear and tear on his body,and help him get out of jams a lot easier than spinning the ball in at 100 mph does.
     
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  33. FlashFlare11

    FlashFlare11 Hall of Fame

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    Absolutely! The shorter the points are, the more it will help Nadal, especially in sustaining his health. I don't see anyway it can hurt him, unless the service motion is somehow damaging to his shoulder.
     
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  34. kragster

    kragster Hall of Fame

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    Exactly , I don't think Rafa enjoys prolonging the point if he sees an opening. His modes operandi is to wait for the opportunity to hit a high percentage winner. With a big serve he could hit a high percentage winner of the return shot itself.

    I think more than anything its probably because it hurts his shoulder to serve big and whatever he would gain short term he might lose long term.

    His serve has never been a huge liability the only thing he really needs to fix is that awful loopy backhand shot that he hits many times these days.
     
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  35. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Bionic Poster

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    Agreed, Rafa with a 135mph serve is a HUGE threat to the tour. He needs to realize how deadly his game could be with that. Not all the time, but he needs to bring it out in the right moments.
     
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  36. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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    Rafa plays too safe on all his shots to win a Grand Slam these days in 2012. He will never beat Djoker playing that safe. I say this based on my many years of experience of watching the ATP tour on the tube in my jammies from the comfort of my sofa with a cool refreshment and some Cheez-its..
     
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  37. Biscuitmcgriddleson

    Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional

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    Yes and no. Remember when Roddick use to just hit as hard as he could without good control over placement? Nadal needs to find the right balance between speed and placement.
     
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  38. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    You can tell he'll slice it most serves. It doesn't matter though, because it'll still pull you off the court and the return isn't easy. Stay back, it slices further away. Taking it on the rise is always a risk for timing errors.
     
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  39. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    :lol: Rafa wouldn't have made three finals in the 90s :lol:

    He would've won RG, that's it. No other finals for him.
     
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  40. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    God the semifinal the AO drove me wild seeing how he left Federer waiting to serve over and over while he towelled off. Federer should have just served the ball. Pretty soon the umpire would get the hint surely?

    It's bad enough on-serve but on receiving it's plain disrespectful. I've already said elsewhere that they should make it so the server can serve as soon as they're ready (but maybe not within 15 seconds). Think how that could improve the game... people would be so conscious of it it would change the game, probably for the better, within weeks.
     
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  41. TheOneHander

    TheOneHander Professional

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    Delete post.
     
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  42. nadalwon2012

    nadalwon2012 Banned

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    And Djokovic won't beat Nadal again by playing the way Djokovic played in the AO final. Djokovic down 4-2 in the 5th set with Nadal serving? Nadal would only have to hold 2 more service games.
     
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  43. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    Fast serving has worked to my advantage in spurts only in the big picture. Once or twice I was treeing on serve and everything that I hit had both great spin and velocity with maybe one double fault per set. Once a year this will happen.

    Normally, though, trying to serve big spells trouble for me. If I am forcing "big serve" onto my game where it doesn't belong, then, on a slightly better than average day I will make 25% first serves, eliciting unreturnables 75% of time. Then I will make 50% of second serves, of which I will win half the ensuing points.

    Because my second serve is essentially the same as my first only three-quarters speed, it does not have stellar placement--it aims only to overpower, to rattle your racket. So, I will tear off a few highlight reel points, hold a game or two with considerable aplomb; but never fully manage to create enough pressure on serve to avoid finally being broken.

    That has happened to me more than once when I was forcing "big serve" onto my game where it didn't fit with my prevailing attitude or energy levels, and the results were disastrous.
    However. . .
    Since eschewing "big serve" almost altogether, more points have been started at my ideal playing speed, and against big strokers like the guys that I have the hardest time with who, in our tennis lives, probably have a couple hundred hours of playing time accrued over me, this strategy has been working well.

    I still like to crack big serves against inferior competition, and can do so with greater impunity because, if things start unraveling, I can always slow things down if necessary; except, against the bigger hitters, I don't have that option because they can create their own pace which can hurry me into making mistakes off the ground. . .unless I slow it down.
     
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  44. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Gigantic facepalm...again.
     
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  45. FlashFlare11

    FlashFlare11 Hall of Fame

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    I'm curious to find out why he thinks Nadal lost the AO final. Apparently, according to him, Nadal doesn't need to change anything. And Djokovic can play at the same level as the AO final as well. So basically, the players can be at the same level and make no improvements, yet the result will be different?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
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  46. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Far from suresh's "drying up pool of old farts"
    Rafa was trying to screw up Federer's average time taken statistic. Also hoping that Fred would get a time violation indirectly.
     
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  47. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Far from suresh's "drying up pool of old farts"
    You should start a farewell thread.

    Really, so all those who loved your poasts are aware.

    Moment of silence, everyone.
     
    #47
  48. FlashFlare11

    FlashFlare11 Hall of Fame

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    Nadalwon2012 is still posting. I guess he's just putting this account on hiatus.
     
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  49. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    10chars in a soap bubble on a summer day floating slowly away
     
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  50. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    I swear Bullzilla aka whoever else has about 4 or 5 different accounts running concurrently as things stand right now.
     
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